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review 2014-11-13 19:21
The Queen's Choice
The Queen's Choice - Cayla Kluver

This book was crippled from the start. You know why? Just look at the title: The Queen's Choice. Obviously, a queen in the book has to make a very important decision, right? So if that decision is to, say, appoint the only qualified member of the royal family as an heir, and the new heir decides she would rather flee the kingdom and try to find her long-lost cousin who hasn't been seen in years, is most likely dead, would refuse to accept the throne even if he was found, and also may have cut off his wings (which apparently are the only things that make the Fae magical???) so that he literally cannot enter the Fae Realm ever again, that makes it a bit hard to like the book if this disgustingly selfish and stupid new heir is the main character, doesn't it? Because I found it impossible to side with that despicable MC ever again, and her whining about having her wings cut off by humans fell on deaf ears because she is the idiot who crossed into human territory, with her wings visible to them, just so that she could be free of the responsibilities of being the heir.


Anya, the MC, has every right to be my least favorite character, but she is topped by just one person: her new best friend, Shea. The only reason these two girls don't have green skin and pointy hats or ride around on broomsticks is that they're so much more evil and loathsome than the classic witches who boil people alive and eat them for dinner that the poor black-robed old witches refused to be associated with them. Here are a few reasons why: 


1) Anya is constantly looking at or thinking about her younger cousin, Ilumina, and pitying her, fearing her, or even being disgusted with her because she's different, while Ilumina is always treating her like treasured family. At one point, Anya even acknowledges that she would be relieved if Ilumina conveniently died. Seriously, how are you supposed so sympathize with a character who treats her family like that?


2) Shea decides to leave her parents and her little sisters who rely on her just so that she can see the world and meet some people her age, even though any member of her family will be imprisoned if the guards find them, including her.


3) Anya takes Shea with her despite the fact that Shea's father begged her not to, and then proceeded to think of Shea as a burden whenever she needed someone to blame for. . . pretty much everything.


4) After Anya and Shea are both imprisoned, they narrowly manage to escape. . . and Shea promptly starts cheating at dice in front of a bunch of nobles who can turn her in. . . and then Shea starts snapping at Anya for warning her to be more careful.


5) When they finally, finally manage to find Anya's long-lost cousin, Zabriel, Shea starts kicking him and yelling at him and generally being witchy and cross. Anya follows up by spending the rest of his scenes whining about how much he's changed, and trying to force him to go back the the Fae Realm to be king (when she, the hypocrite, fled from being heir to the throne just a few weeks ago).


6) Shea and Anya both seem to hate everyone who (whether they know it or not) is affiliated with Zabriel, even though all of them are obviously the best characters in the book. Honestly, it seems like Shea and Anya are both just jealous that Zabriel and his gang are sooooo much cooler than they are, and decided to take it out on them rather than striving to be better themselves.



7) At the end of the book Shea, predictably, betrays everyone mwahahaha to pay off her family's debt to the Governor by giving Zabriel to the main villain on a silver platter, and thus reveals that she really is a villain. She then cried. . . and cried. . . and cried. . . and cried some more, before, still crying, she leaves Anya with tears in her eyes.


8) Anya, knowing that Shea had betrayed them, lied to her allies and convinced them that Shea was innocent, and then helped Shea escape before anyone changed their minds. So much for all her preaching about caring for Zabriel and the Fae, because apparently she would rather help a traitor she says she'll never forgive than either punish her or leave her to her own devices.

(spoiler show)



The list goes on, but it would take up way too much space for me to write it all down.


Other than the two main girls and Zabriel's gang, every character in the book is either a bland white knight, a bland villain, or (this one's nice) the most useless/pitiful character ever created.


Amazingly, Zabriel's gang is fairly cool, and Zabriel himself is awesome. They are the only good things in the book beyond the first twenty or so pages, which were okay, and they are the only reason the book merits half a star.


Finally, I would like to warn any fairy-loving readers that this book is not a fairy book. Only the very beginning is about fairies, and the rest of it is about Anya not being a fairy anymore, and being stuck in the human world, with her human friend. And, naturally, evil humans are the villains--because they're not cliché or anything.

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text 2014-11-01 16:07
Page 354 of 506
The Queen's Choice - Cayla Kluver

I'm starting to really hate Shea. She and Anya just escaped from prison, and she decided at the first opportunity to risk being caught by cheating at dice around a bunch of noblemen, and ignored and even got irritable with Anya when she told her to be more careful--and then, once they finally find the person they've spent the entire book looking for, she decided to kick him as hard as she could. . . and then snap and snarl at him just because he's obviously the best character in the book. Is she trying to make sure their quest fails? Because it really, really seems like it.


Also, Zabriel is probably the only person in this book that I like, and it took him 350 pages to show up. *facepalm*

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text 2014-10-28 19:50
Page 129 of 506
The Queen's Choice - Cayla Kluver

I've been looking forward to this book for a long time, and finally got it. . . only to be completely disgusted with the main character in the first 50 pages.


I mean, how stupid and selfish can she be? I'm convinced she's trying to break a record for the most selfish character ever (and she only fails because there are, unfortunately, some characters out there whose only personality is that they're selfish).


She has two choices: accept the crown in place of her either one of her two cousins who can't handle it, or refuse and try to force the better of them onto the throne--when no one has even seen or heard from him in ages, and he is quite possibly dead by now. Which does she choose? The latter. UGH!


Also, her narrative is almost exactly the same as Alera's from Legacy. *sigh* And she's also another princess heir who refuses to just go along with what the current ruler thinks is best for their people. *SIGH*


On the bright side, the Fae's powers are awesome and the writing is beautiful, so yay! It's not all bad, I guess.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-03-20 01:14
Review: The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver
The Queen's Choice - Cayla Kluver

Thanks to Harlequin Australia for sending me this copy for review


I expected more from this book. It was poorly executed in every way. 




WARNING. LONG ASS REVIEW AHEAD. (mostly filled with quotes from the book. Quotes are taken from my copy of the book)



I justify that this long review is because this is such a pointless 500 page novel.

This is the first novel I’ve read (well, tried to read) from Cayla Kluver, and it was disappointing to say the least. I tried so hard to get into this book, but after reading a mere 71 pages into the book, I had to stop. I didn’t even finish the chapter. Maybe I’ll try one of her other books, but I certainly won’t be picking up the rest of this series.
The first thing that turned me off the book: it was boring. I can’t even express how boring this book was, and I don’t even want to think about the rest of the 429 pages left untouched. I couldn’t get into this book, the writing was detailed in all the wrong places, and not enough where we needed it. I don’t even know what Anya looks like! All we get told is that she has auburn hair and the colours of her wings.
Ok, so from here on out I’m going to be giving away some spoilers (if you would even call it that, seeing how it doesn’t do anything for you)
So, from the blurb we know that Anya goes after her cousin Zabriel, in the hope that he will come back and take the throne. It is supposed to be Illumina that goes to find Zabriel, but Anya wants to go because she thinks it’s too dangerous for anyone else, especially Illumina:
{Anya thinking about Illumina}
She thought she was ready for the outside world, but she was too naive to even make that judgement.
{Anya talking to her father to try convince him that she should go instead of Illumina}

“She’s not ready for this, Father. I’m afraid she won’t make it back. And this is an especially bad time to send her. The human world feels more unsettled than usual.”
And because of this unsettling feeling, she still takes it upon herself to go after Zabriel, even after Illumina has left! And then this happens:
{Anya just after she leaves Chrior to search for Zabriel}
I had warned Illumina about hunters, a far more realistic danger than the ones I was envisioning. Just as humans mounted the heads of bucks on their walls like trophies, so had the wings of Fae become badges of accomplishment for some of them, and near the Bloody Road was a popular place for such brutes to stalk. I could put up my shroud, but if I were seen crossing the Road, ay hunter who happened to be looking would know I was no human. Humans could not survive the Road.
Fed up with the way my footsteps reverberated, I took off my cloak and shoved it in my pack. With my wings uncovered, I flew to a branch, opting to hover tree to tree in silence until I had passed the Road.
I scanned the area ahead of me, my Fae sense of sight, like hearing and smells, heightened in comparison to the abilities of humans. Observing no signs of danger, I dropped to the ground, relieved to be past the crossing. Now I could leave the forest and its secrets behind. 
The next instant I would relieve for years to come. Had I adopted my shroud and hidden my wings before falling, things might have been different. Had I been quicker, or less eager, I might have been spared.
You can tell immediately after that last sentence, exactly what’s going to happen. How much more contradicting can you get! And believe me, she is just as bad throughout the entire 71 pages that I managed to read. Including these three scenes in the book:
{Anya gets given the Anlace (dagger on front cover) to carve on a sacred tree. Note, first time she holds the Anlace}
In my hand it felt diseased, as though the queasiness spreading through my body was punishment from the knife itself for seizing this power before it was due to me.
{Anya recovering with the humans after her wings were taken.}
I tensed, yearning for the Anlace, for the power I felt when I held it.
{Anya, alone in the humans bed recovering while the humans are having dinner}
I lay down in bed, my fist clenched around the hilt of the Anlace in the readiness to attack or defent. The vile thing – it was the reason I’d left Chrior. It had frightened me away.
This is all in sequential order by the way. Can you get any more contradicting?!? I got sooooo frustrated at this chick. Like SERIOUSLY!! And then (if you could believe she got worse, she did), she starts to act like she is so OH-high-and-mighty! And that was to everyone! It’s like no one will be able to understand her, that she talks about how much she loves this person or whatever, then she goes and starts acting like this:
{Anya talking to Davic}
“I know you don’t understand, Davic, but I have to go.”
“You don’t have to go anywhere – unless you believe there’s nothing worth staying for in Chrior. For Nature’s sake, you’re hurt, and you just got home from your last trip! Why won’t you let us help you? You ought to be here with your family, with 
me, for more than a few days. Or is that notion so insufferable?”
Remember when I said that Anya was complaining, that it was too dangerous for Illumina to go on the trip? Well, guess what actually happens to this “I’m so strong and fearless! No one can do it if I don’t do it!” (No, this is not a quote, this was me mocking her) character:
{Anya just after she drops down to the Road fully exposed}
I heard the whipping of an arrow and turned toward the sound an instant before the weapon pinned my wings, both of them in one sharp strike, to the tree I had just vacated. Gasping, I tried to tug free, succeeding only in tearing the membrane of my wings.
The man holding my chin pushed my head against the tree. He fitted something made of leather around my wrists and snapped it tight so I couldn’t move my hands. My arms felt weak under the immobilizing pressure of the shackles.
I knew what they were going to do. Frenzied, I tried to draw on my elemental connection to the water, asking the snow, the ice, the sap in the trees, the water in the earth, to rise up and shield me.... no response was forthcoming.
I cowered, waiting for the second man to deliver fortune’s justice. I was helpless, so completely helpless in that moment. All the independence I was so proud to possess, all the dignity and potential others saw in me was gone. I was no one in the eyes of these humans, and I could not stop them from degrading me, defiling me, robbing me of what made me Fae.
WTF. You could have done something! Something other than stand there like some baby and like a coward, letting them chop off your wings!!! It’s your magic, it’s everything that makes you Fae, and you’re just letting them take it after one tiny failed attempt at calling your magic. You could have done something! What is a membrane tear in your wings compared to actually losing them, along with everything that makes you Fae!!!!!! And then she has the gall to do this to the humans helping her after the attack:
{Anya talking to the humans, after they have tended to her clipped wings, bloody and puss on her back}
“What are you going to do with me?”...
“Nothing, unless you have something to suggest?”... “How do you feel?”...
“Like you’re lying.”...
“My father found you when he was hunting,”...
“Is that the story he told you?”
“It’s not just a story. My father hunts deer and rabbits. 
For food.”
See!! If this isn’t her acting all OH-high-and-mighty, especially after they’ve just helped you and practically saved your life, then I don’t know what is. OK, I’m going to end this review here while I can actually stop myself.
I would say that you should try the book, it isn’t that bad and you might enjoy it. But then I’d be lying.

If any of you want to try the book, you are more than welcome to take my copy. 
First come, first serve! 
I only have one copy (can ship internationally). 
Either email me or comment on the original post on my blog

Source: behindamillionandonepages.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/review-queens-choice-by-cayla-kluver.html
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review 2014-02-07 05:35
Slow to start, BIG to end.
The Queen's Choice - Cayla Kluver

The Queen's Choice has all the makings of a good story. Two battling races, magic, friendship, love and betrayal. I found myself having a hard time being truly engaged with this book, until about page 400. 

I have a feeling this trilogy will end up being quite good. You just need to get through the first 400 pages. 

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